Wednesday, May 25, 2005

The EU (Pronounced OOOH)

The German ambassador is quoted -

"As older societies, we tend to think of ourselves as more experienced in the way societies evolve, and we tend to be skeptical of Americans who seem to think that if you believe hard enough, and you muster enough resources, you can change the world...In the last year or so, as we've engaged in discussions about the transformation of the Middle East and democracy, I have told my American friends that the region in this world that has seen the most transformation and change is Central and Eastern Europe--without shedding a drop of blood. So don't preach to us. And don't think transformative change will work according to mechanistic rules. This is very complicated. Changing the way people think often has to do with religious and cultural issues--we tend to think of them as long-term, and Americans think, Let's solve the problem in the next four years!"

Let's see GDP growth in the EU is roughly one third of that in the US, and unemployment is consistently several clicks about the US rate. Or did the ambassador understand anything about Kosovo? (I guess that was bloodless.) So much for the older societies experience.